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Indiana Jones on Blu-ray, what happened to you Indy?

I love Blu-ray, since it became the winner in the HD clash with HD-DVD it has made it’s way into a lot of households including mine. And the sharpened visuals made my appreciation for the movie as well as the meticulous process behind the Blu-ray a lot bigger then it already was.

So when I heard that Indiana Jones was hitting Blu-ray this year I was excited to say the least. I love Spielberg and I loved those movies since I was a little kid, what could go wrong?
The reviews all gave praise to the transfers as well as the added content, and so came the moment when me and my girlfriend (who was a Indiana Jones virgin) sat down to watch all three original movies.

And that’s where the magic ended for me. We watched ‘Raiders’ and discussed it afterwards. In the opening scene, the blu-ray clearly showed a rope around Harrison Ford’s waist when he climbed up a small hill in the jungle. And then came the corny humor, the scenes not quite connecting with one another and the very dated effects. Now granted, a movie from 30 years back can’t be judged on its effects, and neither will I do so, but it all counted towards me getting a bad feeling. My girlfriend commented on how she felt it was just a myriad of scenes strung together and not a very great story. So ah well, on to my favourite of the bunch since it was the first one I’ve seen: Temple of Doom.

Now I know that this is the most hated entry next to the fourth and final one (up until now that is) and now I can see why. The female lead played by Capshaw was horrendous, basically screaming loudly for 120 minutes and the story was non existent. Even that asian kid from The Goonies managed to become a pain in the ass. So I had my hopes settled on The Last Crusade, which has grown to become my favorite entry of the series.
That one did not dissapoint, even though the ludicrous plot and the sometimes farfetched action bogged it down a bit.
So, skipping the fourth, which is a piece of shit anyway, I get the feeling that the Indiana Jones series are far more overrated when viewed in the light of cinema as it stands today.
At least two out of the four movies are downright bad movies, and the first ( and I know that one is mutually loved ) comes across as corny, in a lesser extent to the third one.

So how do you feel about all this, am I shockingly wrong?

– Paul



6 thoughts on “Indiana Jones on Blu-ray, what happened to you Indy?

  1. Hmm I don’t think you are shockingly wrong. You do make some interesting points. Raiders is in my top 10 favorite movies of all time and Temple is not a complete waste of time IMO even though I do agree about Capshaw – She was just so damn annoying but I loved Shorty and it had a cool score by Williams.. Crusade was cool. Basically following the Raiders “template” The chemistry between Ford and Connery being one of if not the highlight of the movie. Skull is well…it has George Lucas and his dumb “ancient aliens” stamp all over it. It’s campy, cheesy and vacuous but I just loved having Ford back as Indy. Maybe too much because I forgave many things that Lucas and Stevie did wrong with the story and pacing. The sum of it’s parts were better than the whole as far as Skull was concerned. I still dig the first 3 to no end and given it’s age I can let some things pass regarding some shortcomings like dated FX or the campy serial style of the films. Great post by the way. I enjoyed reading your opinion on these movies! I already have Skull on blu so I may have to get the rest separately. Thanks!

    Posted by Victor De Leon | September 23, 2012, 19:39
    • Yeah Im torn up between those things you make a good point, and i still love the movies, but it felt like it got overrated over time to the point that when you actually look at them for what they are..its not as great.. Connery and Ford were great and I loved having him back in the fourth one too…but still..thanks for giving me your thoughts !

      Posted by That Dutch Filmlover | September 23, 2012, 19:43
      • You are correct in that over the years the movies have built up a very large and hard to beat following. If the series had continued right after Crusade I believe it would have gone the route of the Bond films where we get a good Bond flick and then a not so good Bond flick. And like always, I LOVE discussing film with you, ya whippersnapper!

        Posted by Victor De Leon | September 23, 2012, 19:59
      • Haha yeah, you are right, it could have gone on for quite some time with more memorable entries as well. Having connery back for a fifth one would be epic..and right back at cha bro!

        Posted by That Dutch Filmlover | September 23, 2012, 20:00
  2. Ironically, my set hit my mailbox today (well, yesterday… I just checked for it today), I popped in Raiders and had similar thoughts, but I realized it was best that I took a step back from that overly-critical position. You have to look at Indy flicks from two perspectives: the magical filmmaking and epic story-telling of Steven Spielberg and the idiotic dialogue of George Lucas.

    The fact is the mission of the IJ films is to bring the romanticized action-adventure serials of the 1930’s and 1940’s effectively to the big screen with larger than-life unrealistic villains and heroes. It’s more about a modern mythology than anything else and both Lucas and Spielberg went into this iconinc franchise knowing how ridiculous it would be but also knowing that that they had a pop-culture icon in the making so it really didn’t matter.

    Where everything fails for me from a critical standpoint is, again, the retarded George Lucas dialogue because not only does it stick out like a sore thumb, but it draws attention to every other little flaw that you normally wouldn’t notice. Seriously, I nearly pissed my pants watching the George Lucas version of romance when they’re on the boat and he’s pointing out where it “doesn’t hurt.” The dialogue is so immature that I find it hard to believe that any adult male isn’t sitting there going “Point to your dick, dude,” because it makes more sense than that foolishness they gave us. Reminder: George Lucas wanted to do the third installment of the franchise in a haunted house.

    But the thing is, Paul, most film goers aren’t as critical as you and I and Vic are so this type of stuff just goes right past them and they’re probably better off for it so I have decided to take my critic hat off when I watch these films (except for Crystal Skulls, which is just awful) and others like them and just suspend the disbelief.

    One thing to note, though, the 5.1 HD DTS-MA soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal.

    Posted by Shawn P. O'Halloran | September 24, 2012, 04:41
    • Hey Shawn,

      How great of you to give such a lengthy response, I like the discussion that has come out of this. I agree with your view, its a throwback to the fifties but the dialogue from lucas is so goddamned cringeworthy. The romance scene basically killed the coolness of Indy in about 25 seconds. But I still stand on my initial view that even though you view it in its right scope, its still not what it could have been. But ah well, I like that we can discuss all that and youre damn right that a lot of people will just flat out ignore the points we are discussing. I think it’s still something to think about when looking back at certain movies!

      Posted by That Dutch Filmlover | September 24, 2012, 16:00

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